In the end, we are to blame for our own suffering
Irina Doguzova was born in Vladikavkaz in 1967. She trained to become a seamstress. In 1994 she got married and moved to Beslan. She gave birth to five children. Her eldest son Artur died during a terrorist attack at the school all five children attended, while her sons Mark (1996), Alan (1998) and daughters Alina (1999) and Laida (2004) survived. On September 1, 2004, the first day of school, the family of 7 drove together to the local elementary. Irina’s husband stayed in the car with their two young daughter while Irina walked her eldest sons inside. Her third son, Alan, had stayed at home. There were no classes on the first day of school, and the kids were excited about the schoolyear commencing ceremony. While entering the school yard, Irina heard gunshots. A group of terrorists rushed Irina and her sons into the gym. There they had spent the following two days as hostages. On the third day, Artur convinced his mother and brother to move towards the fitness room where there appeared to be more fresh air. Irina remembers the first explosion feeling as though it came from outside. The second one set the gym on fire. Artur was fatally hit with a piece of flying debris, while Irina and Mark managed to escape. During the shootout, which began after the explosion, they hid under a table. The terrorists forced the hostages to stand in the windows as living shields against the fire coming from outside. The event caused the whole family a deep trauma. To this day, Irina doesn’t understand the reasons which led to the attack on the school. She partly blames the government for her son’s death, since it failed to handle the situation without such excessive violence.